Skip to main content

New York Agriculture in the Classroom


Agricultural Literacy Week 2022

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table (Tales of the Dairy Godmother)
Written by VJacqueline Briggs Martin
Art by Eric-Shabazz Larkin

Agriculture is a unifying factor for communities all over. Whether you have 100 acres or a rooftop, there are opportunities for growing food and sharing the journey from soil to table with those around, as illustrated in Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table. This book will take students on an explorative journey learn about community gardens and inspire them to build communities through food, even if they only have a pot on their porch to cultivate.

Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he's as tall as his truck, and he can hold a cabbage, or a basketball, in one hand. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can't see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. No space, no problem. Poor soil, there's a solution. Need help, found it. Farmer Will is a genius in solving problems. Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the inspiring story of an innovator, educator, and community builder. Combined with artist Eric-Shabazz Larkin's striking artwork, readers will share Will Allen's optimism and determination to bring good food to every table. This story also showcases the unique diversity of agricultural operations that is especially applicable to New York's combination of rural, suburban, and urban lanscapes.

Educator Resource Guide

Classroom ALW Videos

NYS Assemblymember Jaime Williams reads Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table.
Adirondack Worm Farm owner Bill Richmond shares a look into his commercial compost business and worm farm operation.

Meet Farmer Will Allen


Farmer Will Allen is visiting New York during Agricultural Literacy Week! Classrooms will have the chance to meet Mr. Allen, ask him questions about his life and experiences, and walk through an urban farm in Schenectady County with him as he talks about worms, soil, and compost through a virtual experience.

LIVE Virtual Experience
Friday, March 25, 2022
10:00 am

Companion Lessons and Resources

You can share these additional resources with the classes your volunteers read to so teachers may prepare their students for Agricultural Literacy Week or extend the learning afterwards in their classrooms.


Utilize this resource to explore the vocabulary in this year's book.